Wednesday, January 5, 2011

India’s Golden Circle continued:

Here I am at the Taj Mahal in Agra looking oh so serious, but internally I was having a great time – really I was! Remember that famous picture of Diana sitting here alone? No, I wasn't trying to recreate it, and yeah she was extremely lucky she was a Princess to be able to clear the grounds so she could get an unobstructed piccy because believe me, the place is absolutely rammed with tourists.

The story of how and why the Taj Mahal was built is honestly very sad, and I'd love to get into the story for the blog, but it is a very long story, and the internet has happily provided us with shorter versions (plus the guide I had – bless him – was talking so fast, and so much that I missed a lot of what he said, and I don't want to repeat misheard information). Ok, ok, I wasn't listening – happy? I was just too overwhelmed by the place to pay much attention to the reasons why it was built. See THIS is where traveling with someone can come in handy, at least you know someone is paying attention. Oh well. Needless to say, the place is absolutely beautiful, and a monument to love. Interesting tidbit: did you know that the marble on the building was made smooth by workers hands? So yes, you can bet that a lot of fingers and hands were lost during the construction. At first that bit of trivia totally put me in a downer mood. Can you believe that actual human hands smoothed all that material before they even had the tools to do it? That part of the story is rather grim so we won't dwell on that and again focus on the beauty and majesty of the building.

That bench I'm sitting on is THE place to take your picture, which probably explains why so many people run to park their butts on that spot. You gotta hustle to get your picture taken there though it must be said/forewarned. And be prepared to run because Man, people are aggressive there, sheesh!! A place that is supposed to foster love and peace instead allows for pushing, shoving, and rather annoying tourists jostling to sit on one ridiculous bench. Seeing as the day was quite foggy, the behavior made even less sense but hey ho, what can you do but go with the flow, AND have the smarts to procure a guide who is as vocal and pushy as the tourists! Let him or her do the work for you!

Then you can sit and take it all in, and Holy Mother, the place is f*cking magnificent, just breathtaking - inside and out!!!!When you get closer to the monument, you are required to wear these lovely red slippers (see picture). The point of the slippers is to maintain the integrity of the marble flooring, to prevent scratching and general wear and tear from shoes. Makes sense. They are hideous though, and match with nothing. They look like this:

It could have been worse, believe me. Agra Fort comes to mind and I'll share the reason why next post. In the meantime here are a few more shots of the Taj Mahal and surrounding grounds – shame it was a sunny day but quite foggy so the pictures really do not do the place justice - I tried though!

Up next: Agra continued


  1. Great pics! I like that it was foggy, it evokes a mysterious and eerie vibe.

  2. Thank Meg for the compliments :) ya know I never even thought to think of the pics like that - nice one :)

  3. WHen I was in Egypt there was this lotus build and my friend wanted me to take a pic of her. Sooo the tourists which were in the way I yelled at them and told them to please ...get out the way thanks. LOL and they did! WHen I was younger I read about the Taj and Khan and I remember I used to have dreams about it. tsk tsk I have to go there!

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